The building was commissioned with a competition to design a new music venue, and Ulster Hall’s main feature was an enormous pipe organ, to drown out the sounds of the linen factory nearby. The Mulholland organ was restored in the late 1970s and is used at some classical music concerts.
Over last 150 years, Ulster Hall has seen appearances by no less than James Joyce and Charles Dickens, who gave readings from A Christmas Carol and David Copperfield in 1869, and the famous Italian opera singer Enrico Caruso in 1909.
More recently, Led Zeppelin gave the first performance of their most famous song, Stairway to Heaven, at Ulster Hall in 1971 and punk bands like Stiff Little Fingers, the Undertones and the Boomtown Rats performed there as well as Manic Street Preachers, AC/DC and the Rolling Stones.
It is the political rallies that Ulster Hall is more famous for. In the early 20th Century, Lord Randolph Churchill led opposition to William Gladstone’s Home Rule in Ireland bill in the hall, while his son Winston Churchill was locked out several years later when trying to speak in favour of Home Rule. John Tyndall, a Victorian scientist, provoked outrage from both protestant and catholic preachers for putting the case for science over religion. And in 1986, loyalists held a meeting led by Sir Ian Paisley forming an organisation called Ulster Resistance objecting to the Anglo-Irish Agreement.
The venue is still one of the most active in Belfast and continues to host classical concerts and pop music, craft fairs and political conferences.
Located in Belfast City Centre, this eco-friendly hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Grand Opera House and Ulster Hall. Belfast City Hall and Waterfront Hall are also within 15 minutes.
Located in Belfast City Centre, this hotel is steps from Grand Opera House and Ulster Hall. Belfast City Hall and Waterfront Hall are also within 15 minutes.
The Holiday Inn Belfast City Centre is located next to the Golden Mile in the heart of the Belfast city center, just a short walk to the Great Victoria Street bus and railway station and Grand Opera House.
Located in Belfast City Centre, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Ulster Hall, Grand Opera House, and Belfast City Hall. Queen's University of Belfast and Waterfront Hall are also within 1 mi (2 km).
Located in Belfast City Centre, this spa hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Ulster Hall, Belfast City Hall, and Grand Opera House. Waterfront Hall and Queen's University of Belfast are also within 15 minutes.
This city center hotel is a short distance from the Ormeau Baths Gallery, St. Malachy’s Church, CitiGolf, and Ulster Hall.
Located in the center of Belfast, this family-friendly hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Victoria Square Shopping Centre, Waterfront Hall, and St. Anne's Cathedral. Belfast City Hall and Odyssey Arena are also within 15 minutes.
Host to world leaders and celebrities, Europa Hotel is in the historic centre of Belfast, next to the Grand Opera House and within walking distance of the city's shops and cultural attractions. The Crown Liquor Saloon, a classic pub, is across the street. City Hall is within a half-kilometer.